Thank you for the excellent response to my pilot Ideas Lab launched in November 2014.    

We all know Bristol is full of great ideas from its many inspiring people, community groups and businesses.    The Lab captured an impressive range of these - 316 different ideas.

Bristol people not only responded with some great new ideas but also got stuck in rating and discussing ideas. The lab attracted over 1,300 comments and some 3,300 ratings for the ideas.  We used this information to help us focus on the higher rated ideas and the most discussed.

How the Lab helped Bristol’s Bloomberg bid

One big reason for starting the Ideas Lab was to harvest ideas for the Bloomberg Mayor’s Challenge.    We were really keen for Bristol to enter this competition and saw the Lab as an excellent open way for people to share their ideas.    

Working with groups and individuals behind ideas from the Lab, we combined several together to come up with ‘The Learn, Grow, Eat Revolution’.   Bristol’s bid aimed to make it easier for people to obtain and eat nutritious, organic foods as well as boosting the market for locally home-grown produce, and contributing towards improving public health and reducing obesity.  

The Bloomberg Challenge acknowledged Bristol’s fresh approach to collecting ideas for our bid through the Lab.  Our bid was shortlisted ahead of many other cities, getting to the final round but falling at the final hurdle.  Whilst we are disappointed to have not won a prize, our bid did help raise the profile of Bristol and we are planning to move ahead with some elements of our bid and use it to inform future policy development.

Inspiring our Green Capital

Looking through a green lens, we also saw the Lab as a great way of collecting ideas for Bristol’s European Green Capital year in 2015.  The Green Capital Team have been considering ideas from a multitude of people and groups from the Bristol area, alongside this ideas bank.  Bristol’s 2015 programme is still being developed and there are still so many ways to get involved.  Visit the Bristol 2015 website ( to find out about the latest projects / events for the year.   

Grant funding to make your idea happen for Bristol 2015

Bristol Green Capital is making £2 million in grant funding available for communities with great ideas to help as many new projects as possible get off the ground in 2015, as well as support existing ones.  The Neighbourhoods and Small Grants funds are still open - find out more.

Feedback on ideas

We’ve been talking to specialists and experts about some of the top rated ideas and have added feedback to the site.  With some ideas, there are things we’re doing already.  Other ideas are influencing how we are thinking about developing our services. Click on the feedback link - to see our response to some of the higher rated / most discussed ideas.  

More ideas banks in future consultation

Encouraged by the success of this Ideas Lab to generate ideas, we are using this approach in developing Bristol’s local services.  You can see this in our Libraries for the Future consultation, where we are collecting ideas and working with citizens to redesign our library service to make it more appealing and efficient.

If you’re interested in attracting funding for an idea which you can make happen, we’d also encourage you to visit Fund it! Bristol and other crowd funding websites.